New Music Playlist: August 2020

Top row left to right: booboo, Laura Fell, Double Grave, True Blossom, Priya Francis; bottom row: Oceanator, Thank You, I’m Sorry, Bully, Big Joanie, Thanya Iyer

Another month has gone by, which means it’s time for me to recap some of my favorite finds of August. Last month I blasted Bully’s searing album SUGAREGG while driving past hours of corn fields on a long car ride, put on Thanya Iyer’s KIND as a soothing backdrop to weeknight dinners, and listened to Oceanator’s album Things I Never Said while going for walks and trying to shake the loneliness of six months of social distancing from friends and family. There are many other songs that I loved this month- keep reading to learn about some of my favorites, or head to the bottom of the post to find the full playlist.

Lately I’ve been humming along to the catchy and endearingly honest songs on I’m Glad We’re Friends, the second album from Minneapolis’ Thank You, I’m Sorry. Throughout the album, guitarist and singer Colleen Dow delivers one-liners about the anxieties of surviving your early 20’s that many of us can relate to. Bassist Bethunni Schreiner and drummer Sage Livergood round out the band’s tight rhythm section.

Minneapolis trio Double Grave released a spectacularly pensive album that showcases the band’s dense and meandering instrumentals. Some call them shoegaze, Pitchfork labeled them slowcore — call them what you want, but Double Grave know how to dial in a mean tone. Their latest album Goodbye, Nowhere! is a prime example of how Double Grave layers fuzzy guitars with melodic bass lines and mellow vocals to create layers of sound thick enough to wrap yourself up in like a blanket during the chilly Midwestern months.

Melbourne based singer-songwriter Priya Francis released her second single of 2020, “Jeans,” in August. The song begins with a stripped-back instrumentation, as a fingerpicked guitar part provides a bed for Francis’ rich voice. “Jeans” builds as the song progresses, layering synthesizers and electronic drum beats to the guitar part, harkening to some of Francis’ alternative R&B influences like Kehlani and H.E.R.

Like many of us, my brain has felt pretty foggy lately as I’m spending most of my days staring at screens and dreading the cold weather that’s about to descend upon Minnesota. But when I first heard “Serious Boys” by True Blossom, the song stopped me in my tracks and immediately put a smile to my face. The song is the first single from the band’s upcoming album In Bliss, which drops in October on Citrus City. True Blossom formed in 2017 in Atlanta’s underground synth-pop scene. “Serious Boys” is bubbling with syncopated percussion, shimmery guitars, and an upbeat pop sheen that reminds me of the best of 2010’s alternative pop like Toro y Moi or Beat Connection. The song isn’t on Spotify so it isn’t in the playlist, but check out True Blossom on Bandcamp and preorder In Bliss before it drops on Oct. 23:

You can listen to the rest of the playlist below:

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